Elections fair, despite organizational challenges - ENEMO

12:03, 28 March 2006
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Ukrainian voters exercised their right to vote freely.

ENEMO`s observation of the pre-election period and Election Day on March 26 has shown significant improvements from the 2004 presidential elections, with Ukrainian voters to exercise their right to vote freely, according to an ENEMO press release, forwarded to UNIAN.

The election environment surrounding the 2006 parliamentary elections was generally free of pressure, intimidation or harassment against any political party or bloc or any specific groups of voters. In stark contrast to 2004, there were no reports of centralized misuse of administrative resources.

However, ENEMO reported significant organizational problems concerning late opening of polling stations and violations or irregularities resulting from overcrowding in the polling stations and missing citizens on the voter lists.

"Having been in Ukraine during the 2004 Presidential elections" Peter Novotny, Head of the ENEMO Mission stated "it is heartening to see the radical improvement in the transparency of the election environment."

Novotny also noted "the only concerns we have are of a technical nature. While those are significant, they should not cloud a genuinely competitive, free and fair election. Ukraine has in effect proven its commitment to

European democratic values."

For the Ukrainian 2006 parliamentary elections, ENEMO deployed 42 long-term observers covering all oblasts of Ukraine to monitor the pre-election environment including the political campaign and preparation activities of the election administration ahead of the March 26th parliamentary election. For Election Day ENEMO deployed 389 election observers to 2040 polling stations throughout all oblasts of Ukraine.

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